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September 15, 2010 06:55 PM UTC

Thanks for Playing Tea Party, But Republicans Are Leaving

  • by: Colorado Pols

As “The Fix” explains:

Marketing consultant Christine O’Donnell’s stunning primary victory over Rep. Mike Castle last night badly imperils Republicans’ chances of winning the seat being vacated this fall by appointed Sen. Ted Kaufman (D).

Whereas Castle was a known — and liked — commodity to First State voters based on his more than four decades of service in elected office, O’Donnell has next-to-no presence among the general election electorate and, given the sort of primary campaign she ran, seemingly little interest or ability to expand her sphere.

National Republicans signaled privately last night that they would take their attention — and, more importantly, money — elsewhere in the country, focusing on what they believe to be growing opportunities in places like West Virginia and Connecticut to name two.

That decision almost certainly dooms O’Donnell’s candidacy as she has no demonstrated ability to raise the money she will need to be competitive in the pricey Philadelphia media market against New Castle County Executive Chris Coons (D) [Pols emphasis]

…Against Castle, an icon in the state, it was hard to see Coons pulling off the upset.

Against O’Donnell, Coons is rightly regarded as the favorite.

This race moves from “Lean Republican” to “Lean Democratic” — and in so doing gives a major boost to Senate Democrats’ chances of retaining control of the chamber in the fall.

Sound familiar? While there are certainly significant differences here, O’Donnell’s victory is reminiscent of Dan Maes’ win in Colorado’s gubernatorial primary. In both cases, victory by the “Tea Party” favorite has given the Democrats a clear path to victory. But more telling is that once the “Tea Party” favorite won, national and local Republicans quickly abandoned them.

The Republican Party LOVES the Tea Party…only so long as they do what the GOP wants. Which makes us wonder, again, why the Colorado Tea Party doesn’t just form their own party.


87 thoughts on “Thanks for Playing Tea Party, But Republicans Are Leaving

  1. Not their ideology, but their effect on the two party system, if they take this to heart and organize as a separate party. If the Republicans take their ball and leave every time the Tea crowd scores a point, why should Tea Party candidates bother keeping an [R] by their names on the ballots?

    I hope Tea Party leaders organize as a third party and win a few seats, paving the way for a progressive fourth party.  

    1. O’Donnell will rely on local Tea Party funding. But wasn’t this race already lost.

      538 had never counted it.

      The Colorado upside is more support for Ken Buck.

      1. He’s looking almost as radical as Maes lately. Maybe they’ll stick with him just because they see Bennet as being very vulnerable and because there’s not another suitable top line candidate to push in Colorado to turn voters out for down-ballot races. But Buck is hardly aligned with establishment values, when it comes right down to it. But honestly, neither was Norton; she just did a better job of looking like an establishment candidate (which was her downfall in the primary).

        If I were Dick Wadhams right now, I’d send Andrew Romanoff a really nice care package–the Senate primary’s continuing impact on party unity on the Dems’ side is the best thing going for statewide Republican candidates.

        (I’ll send Romanoff a care package too if this does eventually result in both major parties splitting along the ideological lines drawn during this election season. We’d have a lot more fun in Colorado and get more done with four viable parties than we do with two.)

        1. Saying one thing in DC, then coming back to Colorado and telling stories about how and why you voted to kill jobs may fly with the elites … unfortunatley their pocket books have been pinched too.

          1. But I’d still be more excited about that than about a two-party system. The 2010 legislative season illustrated the problems with having two parties, particularly when a single member of the minority party can obstruct the passage of any bill, any time.  

            1. have runoffs, have folks develop coalitions. I would actually hope that it would strengthen the Dems by making them more progressive and straightforward about it.

              I do like the Green party but they are just a bit out there for me. But, I must say they do help move the discussion. The Libs have been pointless.

              I would hope that additional parties would work hard to recruit candidates for ALL offices. I’m sure right now the ACP wishes they had more offices in contention.

              1. It’s easy right now to get a third party’s nomination for a big office, so people who just want “candidate for US Senate” in their biography go that direction. But really, a viable third (and, hopefully, fourth) party would need to field candidates at all levels. Getting one Congressional seat is headline news, but would probably do less for the party’s long-term viability than a good small-town mayor willing to put some hard work into a community eager for genuine change.  

                  1. Actually, non-partisan races would be especially good targets for third/fourth party candidates, in my opinion. Downplays the negative effects of running as a minor party in a partisan race, but still gives the party a boost via publicity when someone not a member of a major party does a good job in office.

                    But again, you bump up against the problem of attention hounds in the minor parties (Tancredo being the most successful one in recent memory, save for, I suppose, Joe Lieberman) who are more interested in making the evening news than doing the job.

          1. 1> a clueless candidate who whores out his son at West Point for votes, instead of having any substance to his national security and veterans issues.

            2> an unprepared candidate who was invited to a candidate forum specifically on Veterans Issues but said “I don’t have anything, so what are your questions?”

            3> a cowardly candidate who hid behind his three handlers after his “speech” and dashed before anyone at the event could ask him why he has NO veteran or national security issues.  

            1. I think Cody would take objection to your assessment that he is being “whored” out. When you make statements like this it makes it hard for me to believe that you actually support the military or veterans in any way at all.

              1. It would’ve made the Soviet Propagandists proud:


                It was a whole thread, Beej, and you “contributed” three times. I’m surprised you missed that, but maybe you sniffed too much Bondo at Auto Body school today.

                If I was a cadet at West Point, I WOULD be upset with my Dad for whoring me out on his campaign website. Especially since he removed some bombshell statements and replaced them with NOTHING.

                But that was one point of three – what about the other two?

            2. Who will then most likely take a taxpayer funded job in the military?  And get all those socialistic benefits like housing and health care and more education?

              While his Dad rails against big government?

              Is this yet another Republican hypocrite?

        2. The Republicans are pulling out of the state.  They found out he is a radical who supports the Constituion.

          Apparently you did not see the latest TV buy for $500K for next week?

    2. I can guarantee they won’t like their system anymore than we like ours. They will have just as many “fakes”, “frauds”, etc in their various parties.

      If the Teabaggers truly split from Republicans and attempt to form their own Party there will be a couple possible outcomes:

      1. You end up fragmenting the Republican Party for good into two Parties, neither of which are strong enough to defeat Democrats.

      2. Republicans move en mass to the new Tea Party which basically means they change their name, play by new rules for awhile, then go back to the way they’ve always been but under a different name.

      Why would Dems be insane enough to follow this disastrous plan after watching the debacle the Republicans are going through? Especially if option 1 above happens? If option 2 happens, progressives would have to be willing to sacrifice 2-3 decades (at best) of the country being controlled by Republicans, or Tea Partiers, in order to build up the new “Progressive Party” or whatever you want to call it.

      Of course if Dems do split into two parties and the Republicans don’t…we’re screwed. There’s a very real reason the Tea Party hasn’t a most likely won’t ever form their own party.

  2. They haven’t and won’t form their own party because it takes WORK, as you outlined in your July post.  And respect for the rules.  And self-discipline.  And at least a small amount of pragmatism.

    So the reality is there is no tea PARTY and won’t be one.  Every crazy candidate who’s won a REPUBLICAN primary has an R after their names.  They are Republicans, spawned by Rove and Gingrich and Armey and Ronald Reagan.  It’s the TGOP.  Simply the reaping of what the manipulators have sowed.

    The slightly sane R’s who have a big pain in their gut today are the ones who ate all the tea party candy, starting in Feb. 2009 (actually more like 30+ years ago).  I, for one, am enjoying the show.

  3. Except it’s not true.

    John Cornyn: [Emphasis mine]

    Let there be no mistake: The National Republican Senatorial Committee – and I personally as the committee’s chairman – strongly stand by all of our Republican nominees, including Christine O’Donnell in Delaware.

    I reached out to Christine this morning, and as I have conveyed to all of our nominees, I offered her my personal congratulations and let her know that she has our support. This support includes a check for $42,000 – the maximum allowable donation that we have provided to all of our nominees – which the NRSC will send to her campaign today.

    We remain committed to holding Democrat nominee New Castle County Executive Chris Coons accountable this November, as we inform voters about his record of driving his county to the brink of bankruptcy and supporting his party’s reckless spending policies in Washington.

    The bolded part is all that’s going to matter in November.  The Dems fiddled with a shitty HC bill and Porkulus while the economy burned.

    1. The only thing that matters is whether the NRSC will spend its own money running TV ads for O’Donnell. Remember, the RGA initially said that they were committed to Colorado when we first reported in July that they were pulling out.  

      1. Again, the only thing that matters is if the NRSC is going to pay for its own ads in Delaware. $42,000 in a Senate race barely covers payroll right now.

        1. Over $500,000 donated TODAY as of 2:55 p.m. MST. That should help make a “dent” in the cash needed to reach a very small target….Population ~ 885,000 for the entire State.

    2. …did Rep Lobbyist-Whore apologize for all the nasty attack ads the GOP unleashed against her? I doubt it, and I’m pretty sure Ms Teabagger would’ve had some choice words for the Orange Man if he did.

      Delaware is back in the Dem column. All of the nutjob statements by O’Donnell will drive the sane portion of the stae (read, the MAJORITY) to vote for the non-screeching candidate.

      Yet another RNC/RSCC FAIL. Keep up the good work, Mr Steele!

  4. everybody hates Democrats right now. In most instances, the Tea Party and the GOP have both been able to get behind the winner of the primary. But in some instances, the difference are just too great. Does this mean Dems may hold on to the Senate when they otherwise wouldn’t have? Yes – for two years. But the long term benefit of removing Castle from office to the conservative cause far outweighs short term GOP control of the Senate. The GOP needs to get its house in order first before we give it control of the Senate back. If we can do that this year with conservatives, great. If we could do it with RINOs, no thanks, we’ll wait two years.

                    1. Declare our independence and create a democratic republic?



                      and  check

                      Would you also want to  nationalize the banks? Cultivate hemp? Add more states?  

              1. are merely the Bircher wing of the GOP.  They’re basically what was left floating in the bowl.

                The founding fathers were hardly Birchers…or Republicans, either, which of course did not come into existence until decades later.

    1. You can make the statement that getting rid of U.S. Rep. Castle outweighs the loss of the Delaware U.S. Senate seat but we need to look beyond that to what is going on inside the Republican Party, and has been for twenty or so years.

      By throwing Castle under the bus, the only result will be to convince many Republicans in Delaware and across the country that the Republican Party is permanently focused on extreme positions (they’re certainly not conservative ones) from social policy to tax policy. In other words, the Republican Party is driving the moderate Republicans into the Democrat column.

      Lets turn to Colorado where Congressman Tancredo is attempting to split the so called conservative Republicans away from the party. With this kind of splintering going on all over the country how can the party survice.

      Next lets look at the registration figures in Colorado. The last time I looked there hasn’t been any great migration back to the Republican Party. The Republicans lost the largest registration lead (180,000 more R’s than D’s) in state history over a period of four years and yet, today, with the Democrats clearly in political trouble because of the economy, there hasn’t been a return to the Republican column by large numbers of former party members.

      All of this bodes ill for the long term health of the Republican Party. There are fundamental fractures over philosophy between the extremists and the moderate Republicans. You can call them RINO’s or other less printable names all day, but you can’t win without them.

      Finally, by requiring all the litmus tests around the issues of “god, guns, gays and abortion” and by absolutely refusing to allow any deviation on those issues whatsoever by anyone who runs for a Republican nomination, you have institutionalized and insured the long term failure of the Republican Party. Rigidity in American politcs insures electoral failure. Only people who can compromise and tolerate different opinions within the ranks can build a political party coalition capable of winning general elections.

      The Republican Party may enjoy a brief period of success this November but the longer term prospects are bleak.

      1. It’s average everyday Americans who are getting involved in the political process for the first time. You’re completely missing the mark if you think conservatives are rallying around “god, guns, gays, and abortion”. They are rallying around freedom and liberty. On the contrary, Republicans lost because they had no ideas and no principles. We are saving the Republican Party.

        1. The Republicans had plenty of ideas about “god, guns, gays and abortion.” Those ideas did not appeal to the majority of Americans and made the GOP into the minority party in Washington and in state houses around the country.

          What “ideas” for governing do the “new” activist Republicans have to offer based on “freedom” and “liberty.” According to people like Sharon Angle in Nevada and the winner last night in Delaware, it sounds like the same old charade. The “new” “freedom” and “liberty” Republicans want to terminate a woman’s reproductive freedom, destroy the tax base of the country because public institutions are, for many of these people, evil and somehow believe that spreading fear of President Obamam based on diversionary issues (i.e. he’s a muslim or he wasn’t born in the United States) is a good substitute for policy.

          How are you going to build the infrastructure, fund education etc. In short, based on a platform of “freedom” and “liberty,” what precisely and specfically do you propose to do to insure the future of our country. The words “freedom” and “liberty” standing alone don’t point us in any direction and, alone, mean very little.

            1. are offering in terms of specific policy, please let us know what it is and how it differs from what I’ve termed “god, guns, gays and abortion” that has dominated the Republican Party since the days of President Reagan.

                    1. The government bailout of the auto industry worked. That industry has created 55,000 jobs and the companies are paying back the money. It worked because President Obama insisted that GM fire the company’s previous management and he brought in experienced business people from the private sector to manage and streamline GM. The idea that government intervention in the economy never works is just as silly as the opposite notion that it is always appropriate because hard-line ideology either way simply doesn’t match up with the reality of the facts on the ground. Bravo to President Obama and his administration for saving the auto industry.

                      As far as health care goes, I believe the health insurance companies are still with us and will be even after the health care bill is fully implemented in 2018.

            2. But your lack of answer or willingness to engage the question with anything more than ideological one-liners, straw men and blather!  is revealing.

              Out someone, Please.   You know you want to.

                    1. I read them.  It doesn’t say a poster is required to not  annoy, torment, pester, plague, molest, worry, badger, harry, harass, heckle, persecute, irk, bully, rag, vex, disquiet, goad, beset, bother, tease, nettle, tantalize, ruffle, bait,  coax, challenge, otherwise humiliate or castigate anyone.

                      Seriously, though, you should start calling posters names and outing posters and stuff. If you are man enough.

        2. I have two books at my bedside, Lieutenant: the Marine Corps Code of Conduct and the King James Bible. The only proper authorities I am aware of are my commanding officer, Colonel Nathan R. Jessep, and the Lord our God.

          Lt. Kendrick, A Few Good Men

            1. And along with The Godfather trilogy, a modern day I Ching with answers to all of life’s questions and daily challenges.

              What should I take on vacation?

              Leave the gun, take the cannoli.

              How should grateful Americans who never served honor those who have?

              I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.

              How should I dress for that job interview?

              Wear matching socks.

  5. we don’t  need the Tea Party to discover a work ethic.  We have a real third party on the horizon in the ACP.  With Tancredo poised to get them over the 10% qualifier for major party status, we may be able to look forward to a party that will do for many Colorado Dem candidates what Perot did for Clinton, winning him that ’92  plurality victory here and nationwide.

    Imagine the jubilation of ACP members nationwide when cable  starts featuring breathless stories on how this obscure party attained technical major party status here thanks to crazy Tanc.  Imagune Colorado as ground zero for ACP aspirations.  

    Instead of a percentage point or two being nibbled on both the left and the right by Libertarians and Greens and such, there will be a third rightie party strong enough, with funds pulled in from nationwide ACP members, to take perhaps  8% to 10% chunks from GOP candidates, handing Dems more plurality victories. Unlike Perot, a one man band, the ACP could stick around for a while and participate in a range of races.

    Tanc gets more fame, adulation and lucrative celeb status without a job that requires actual work. The ACP gets to be somebody.  Dems start catching more big breaks in close elections.  It’s all good.  Well, not so much for dazed and confused Colorado GOPers wondering how they, the ones who were suppose to be the players, lost control of the played.  

    And on national scale, if Dems retain the Senate, thanks mainly to the whole GOP losing control thing and the GOP wins the house, two years of pretty much nothing but investigations and gridlock ought to set up the GOP as the bums to throw out just in time for 2012.  If Dems squeak by and hold both, the window for Rs will be slip sliding away as demographics keep making it tougher for them to get growing numbers of younger and minority voters to vote against their own economic interests on fading wedge issues fewer and fewer voters will care about.

    Colorado.  We were ground zero for the blue gains of 2004, 2006 and 2008 and we may prove to be ground zero for the splintering into relative impotence of the far right and the return of the nation to a more truly centered center. Riders of the purple sage.

  6. From 2-0 in the Senate and 5-2 in the house to 1-1 in the Senate and 3-4 in the house in two months.  The Colorado Dem contribution to the changing of guard in Congress is apprectiated.

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